When Life Gives You Lemons – Make Lemon Bars!

Mother’s day is just around the corner. My mother has naturally given me the old “when life gives you lemons” speech multiple times. The thing is that despite everything which has happened in her life she consistently looks at things in a positive light and expects the best possible result. Recently, she amazed us all by deciding to make a cross country drive on her own. She did it. Now all she can talk about is getting back on the road to go to LA. She has gone from not being able to get on the highway to travel between Ann Arbor and Troy, Michigan – to planning her next road trip. She is a unique person and the more I get to know her the more I realize just how much she embodies the idea of the “lemons” speech.

So, in honor of all those moms with their unflagging positive attitudes and their “turn things around” pep talks, here is a recipe for Lemon Bars. Like moms, these lemon bars are special. They have coconut crust and are naturally made from real, fresh squeezed lemon juice. I also just happen to think moms like lemony things – my mother-in-law had dibs on these every time I brought out the Holiday Cookie Assortment. Make a batch and share them with mom!

Lemon Bars with Coconut Crust

 d0cbe-cookies2band2bbars
Raspberry Rhapsody Bars, Brownies, Coconut Macaroons,
Lemon Bars with Coconut Crust and Honey Almond
Shortbreads all from Baking Pure and Simple

Crust

¾ cup unsalted butter

⅜ cup sugar

⅛ teaspoon salt

1½ cups flour

2 cups unsweetened coconut*

¾ tablespoon lemon rind, grated

½ cup powdered sugar for dusting

*Be sure to use unsweetened coconut which is usually finely shredded for the perfect crust.

Topping

5 eggs

1⅔ cups sugar

½ cup lemon juice

1 tablespoon lemon rind, grated

¾ tablespoon flour

A pinch of salt

Crust: Preheat oven to 350°F.  Cream butter and sugar.  Add salt and flour and mix.  Add coconut and lemon rind and mix just until blended.  Press evenly into the bottom of a 13 by 9-inch non-stick baking pan.  If you have one small enough, use a rolling pin to evenly flatten the surface, otherwise use your fingers flattened out to press the dough as evenly as possible.  Bake for 10 minutes.  If the topping is not ready when the crust has baked 10 minutes, remove the tray from the oven until you are ready to pour the topping over the crust.

Topping: While the crust is baking, blend the eggs and sugar until just mixed.  Add the lemon juice, rind, flour and salt and mix until just combined.  Place the crust in the oven with the shelf pulled out slightly but make sure it is secure and level.  Carefully and evenly pour the lemon juice mixture over the top of the partially baked crust.  Slowly push the oven shelf and pan back into place before closing the oven door.  Bake for 20 minutes or until firm.

Allow to cool completely before cutting. Trim away edges if desired.  Dust with powdered sugar before serving.  Makes 3 dozen.

Note:  The edges are great chopped up and sprinkled over vanilla ice cream.

Haven’t figured out what to get mom for Mother’s Day?

Baking Pure and Simple is a great present for moms who love to bake.


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